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Texas Prosecutor Gunned Down; Chicago Sending 200 Desk Officers to Street; Iran Threatens Israel Over Air Strike; Culliver Anti-Gay Comment; Five-Year-Old Held Hostage in a Bunker
Aired January 31, 2013 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, CNN holds a town hall on guns in America. And you're about to get a preview of the questions everyone is asking.
I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, make the right decision on behalf of Newtown.
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BALDWIN: A doctor who tried to save lives moments after the Sandy Hook massacre joins parents to beg for change.
Plus, cash, prostitutes and a raid. A powerful senator facing serious accusations involving sex.
And, live during this hour, Beyonce could address the saga over her lip synching. We'll take you to her Super Bowl news conference.
All right, here we go. It's Thursday. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
Right now a manhunt in Texas after a person dedicated to fighting crime becomes the victim of a shooting. The prosecutor was fatally shot outside this courthouse here. This is Kaufman, Texas. Just to give you the lay of the land, this is about 30 miles southeast of Dallas. The search is on right now for two gunmen. CNN's Nick Valencia is tracking the developments here on this one.
And let's just start from scratch with me. What do we know happened?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Kaufman County Sheriff's Office tells us, early this morning, the assistant district attorney for Kaufman County, Mark Hasse was gunned down, shot fatally in a nearby parking lot outside of the county courthouse. Now, we don't know the motive or even if there's multiple suspects. The sheriff's department tells us, Brooke, that they're looking for an older Ford sedan-type car, a possible suspect or suspects still on the loose. Local schools have also been on lockdown.
BALDWIN: So obviously we know they're combing through some of his previous cases, trying to see if anyone would have been this angry at him. What more do we know about him, who he is, his work?
VALENCIA: And that is a good point. They are pouring through the cases, and that's a point that the sheriff's department made very high up to us.
VALENCIA: That they're looking at his backlog of cases. But we do know that he was previously the district attorney at Dallas County, neighboring Dallas County, and had recently transferred to Kaufman County to take this prosecutor role. But we don't know much else about him. An adult male, Mark Hasse. He was, according to the sheriff's office, very well-liked. So we do know that about him, Brooke.
BALDWIN: As soon as you learn more, we'll pop you back on TV.
VALENCIA: We'll be back.
BALDWIN: Nick Valencia, thank you very much.
VALENCIA: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Also happening today, in Chicago, where gun violence, as you know, is spiraling out of control. The city's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, putting more police officers on the ground. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: The IG issued a report, of which I asked immediately my staff to review with Superintendent McCarthy and his staff, of idea of moving other -- an additional 200 individuals who are doing desk work, administrative work and paper work and move them out onto the street.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: This comes after this 15-year-old girl, who performed at President Obama's inauguration, was shot and killed at a park. The 42nd murder this month, making it the deadliest January in a decade. CNN's Ted Rowlands is in Chicago with more on this story.
And so, Ted, with this announcement, explain to me how this is supposed to work.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Basically the mayor has announced today, along with Garry McCarthy, the superintendent of police here in Chicago, that they're moving 200 desk jobs. Cops that are fully trained to be cop who have been sitting behind desks and putting them back on the streets. And what they're going to do is saturate the areas of high crime in the city of Chicago.
Let's be very clear. The crime rate in Chicago went down last year 8 percent, but the murder rate continued to go up 30 percent. And these murders are taking place in specific areas. They're going to use these officer, along with hundreds of other officers that over the last three years have been moved onto the streets, to saturate the high crime areas to try to put a dent in this murder rate which is going out of control.
They do need the community's help. And what they're trying to do is use the death of Hadiya Pendleton, this 15-year-old, to really galvanize these communities, to help them out. Help them out with giving kids other things to do and also reporting what they see when a crime takes place.
BALDWIN: So just to sort of underscore the point here with this death of Hadiya, we said this is the 42nd murder this month in Chicago. But it's really her death that's almost like this tipping point, right?
ROWLANDS: Yes. And this has happened before. There was a seven-year- old that was killed last -- late last year who was selling candy in her front lawn and was shot and killed. And -- but when these innocent, innocent victims are killed in the crossfire, it does capture the attention of Chicago and the country and they're hoping to use that -- and her parents are fully behind this. They were on CNN this morning -- to use her death to really motivate people to change. And one of the biggest changes is getting the people who saw something to come forward and help police because these murders are running loose. They're not being convicted because there are no witnesses that will help police out. This case, in particular, there were 10 people there when she was shot. There's no arrest yet. They need the public's help to get these convictions.
BALDWIN: Awful. Ted Rowlands in Chicago. Ted, thank you.
Tension, it is spreading across the Mideast. In fact, over the last 22 months, we have been watching. We've been reporting on this crisis unfolding inside of Syria. Now a deadly air strike from a neighboring country here. Let me just show you exactly reportedly where it happened. This defense research center northwest of the capital city of Damascus. The country behind this direct hit, Israel.
Here's what we've been told happened. These Israeli warplanes, they struck this truck convoy. The convoy was headed to Lebanon. They were transporting surface to air missile parts to Syria's ally, Hezbollah. So now we're hearing from Iran. It's issued a vague threat to Israel to retaliate over this attack.
Jim Clancy is here to sort of walk us through this.
And so far we've been talking a lot about what's happening inside of Syria. But I want you to talk to me about Iran, Lebanon, the relationship between the countries and just who has the most to gain, who has the most to lose.
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Happy to talk.
First, listen to what the U.N. secretary-general had to say just a few minutes ago. It put out a note to reporters saying that, at this time he doesn't have details of the reported incident, not in a position to independently verify what happened.
And that's part of the problem. We don't really know what happened here. BALDWIN: OK.
CLANCY: We know that there was an Israeli strike. The Syrians are saying it was directed at this research facility, which everybody knows is just -- this would be along -- in Damascus here. But everybody knows that it was also a storage depot for weapons.
Now, beyond that, this involves -- if these weapons were bound for Hezbollah, they came from Iran most likely. So they're Iranian arms. Were they owned by Hezbollah and just stored inside Syria because they were more likely to get hit if they took them into Lebanon? We don't know. But that's one factor that has got to be considered here.
In any event, the Israelis don't want Hezbollah in possession of those more advanced surface to air missiles that could threaten an air action by the Israelis over Lebanon against Hezbollah.
BALDWIN: But here's my question. Because if we're talking so much, we've been covering this war, this crisis within Syria, why would Syria -- this is a weapon transfer within this convoy, right, from Syria to Lebanon.
BALDWIN: Why go -- why would Syria want to give up weapons?
CLANCY: Well, maybe they didn't belong to them. Or perhaps -- see, there's a lot of things here we don't know, as I said.
CLANCY: Or perhaps Syria can no longer protect them. In the statement that was issued by the Syrian government yesterday, it made it very clear that this had been a target of the opposition groups on several occasions, trying to get to it. It's known that the CIA is trying to get to chemical weapons, trying to get to any of this advanced weaponry, to make sure that it doesn't fall into the wrong jihadist hands. They're trying to control that on the ground. Syria, if it's no longer -- it's fighting a war. It's no longer able to protect those weapons stores. Maybe they decide now is the time to move it over to Hezbollah.
BALDWIN: OK. Jim Clancy, thank you very much.
Days here before the Super Bowl, a major distraction for the San Francisco 49ers after one of their players makes these anti-gay remarks. Coming up next, you will hear from a former NFL player who came out after he left the league.
Plus, new details on the man holding a kid hostage in a bunker. He's five years old. As the suspect's neighbors are now speaking out about his strange behavior. That's coming up.
BALDWIN: We are, count them with me, three days away from the biggest game in football. That annual clash of the titans. Of course, the Super Bowl. Time for the teams to really focus, of course, on playing on the big day. Put on the game faces. Talk trash. I suppose you guys talk a little trash on the field on and off. Get ready to take the title. But, today, one of the teams actually faces a huge distraction. Chris Culliver, cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers, doing a little damage control here. He is now apologizing for something he said to a comedian earlier this week on media day. We're going to get to that apology in a moment. But first you have to hear this. You have to see here what Culliver said to comic Artie Lange that has caused quite the uproar.
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ARTIE LANGE, COMEDIAN: What about gay guys? Have any of them approached you?
CHRIS CULLIVER, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS CORNERBACK: No, I don't do the gay guys, man. I don't do that, no.
LANGE: Are there any on the 49ers?
CULLIVER: No. They're ain't got no gay people on the team. You know, they got to get up out of here if they do. Can't be with that sweet stuff now (ph).
LANGE: Really? Is that true?
CULLIVER: Yes, it's true.
LANGE: But they might be able to play well. I mean --
CULLIVER: No. You can't be -- you can't be in the looker room. No.
LANGE: Oh, OK. So it would have to stay -- keep it a secret?
CULLIVER: Yes, you got to -- you got to come out 10 years later after that.
LANGE: OK. That's a good idea.
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BALDWIN: That is Chris Culliver, cornerback, San Francisco 49ers. The first NFL team to support a national campaign to help gay teens cope with bullying.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something you should never experience is being bullied, intimidated or being pressured into being someone or something that you are not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The San Francisco 49ers are proud to join itgetsbetter.org to let all LGBT teens know that it gets better.
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BALDWIN: Now the apology. Here is the formal statement issued by Culliver. Quoting him here. "The derogatory comments I made were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel." He goes on. "It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I apologize to those who I have hurt and offended and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience.
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JIM HARBAUGH, HEAD COUCH, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: He will learn about himself and I saw a statement and he pledged to grow from it. And -- but, you know, it will affect him and, you know, hope and pray that it affects him in a positive way going forward.
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BALDWIN: That is 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh, answering the first question out of the gate at today's media availability. Take a look at this, though. This is what we notice. You see all these reporters? This is what we call a media crush around, here he is, Chris Culliver, when he sat down to answer questions this morning.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want people to know about you these days (ph)?
CULLIVER: Well, actually, I don't have -- I don't have no differences in none of the sexualities. And, you know, just like that. And that's, like I said, that's not what I -- what I feel in my heart. And I treat everyone equal in any type of way. So that's not how I feel.
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BALDWIN: Chris Culliver, cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers, fielding an hour of questions about his feelings about gays in football just ahead, as we mentioned, of the biggest football game of his life.
So, we have Coy Wire here, former player, and we also have Wade Davis, former player. Atlanta here in New York respectively.
Gentlemen, welcome to both of you.
Wade Davis, let me begin with you, because this is personal. You played for the Titans and, you know --
WADE DAVIS, FORMER NFL PLAYER: I played cornerback.
BALDWIN: You played cornerback. Same position.
DAVIS: Yes. BALDWIN: When you first heard Chris Culliver's remarks, be honest, did it surprise you, his tone?
DAVIS: It did sort of surprise me. I was deeply saddened. I thought that we had moved a little further ahead in the conversation. I thought that guys would actually think a little bit before they spoke. I think the fact that he was talking to a comedian, he was trying to be a little funny and it came out horrific and inflammatory. And I do believe that he understands the harm that his words caused.
BALDWIN: Wade Davis, this is personal for you because you came out -- you came out officially in a publication in June of last year. You finished playing back in 2004. Why didn't you come out while you were playing?
DAVIS: I didn't come out because I grew up with the ideology that I could never be a gay athlete. From the time I was seven years old playing the game of football, I always thought that my sexuality and the game of football didn't mix. So I'm just trying now to teach people that you can be who you want to be and play any sport or do any career.
BALDWIN: Wade, stay right there. I'm going to come back to you.
Coy Wire, let me just open this up to you. I mean how many years did you play?
COY WIRE, FORMER NFL PLAYER: I played nine years in the NFL.
BALDWIN: Nine years. There -- we have never -- I didn't realize until I was reading about this, this morning, there has never been an openly gay active NFL player, right? So only after they've played have people come out, like Wade. As you played, did you ever know of anyone who was gay, just wasn't open about it?
WIRE: Well, the situation that kind of was the impetus for this, Qwaim Harris (ph) is the guy who got into an altercation with his boyfriend. And I played with him at Stanford. One of the most kindest, most gentle men I've ever met. And so to hear that there was an altercation about it was uncharacteristic and surprising.
But I think what you're hearing Wade talk about, the pressures. The scrutiny that you know is waiting for you if that were to come out. As antiquated as that may be and as wrong as it may be, I think that those comments made by Mr. Culliver are a microcosm of the general thought and understanding of the -- what homosexual players would face if they were to come out in the NFL.
BALDWIN: And, Wade, this is not just the NFL, right? This is, you know, the big three. We're talking NBA as well. What is it -- describe the feeling, I guess, of being -- having to be closeted, not being able to be your true self with, I'm sure, your good buddies, your players. Describe the scrutiny that you sort of underwent for years.
DAVIS: To be honest, I never faced any scrutiny just because no one knew I was gay. But there is a feeling that the idea that you are a gay man won't be accepted. I think that this is something that you grow up with. It's not something that's -- that I feel that was perpetuated while I was playing, but it was something that I had in my mind in high school, I had in my mind in college, so I just carried that on to the NFL.
BALDWIN: How does it change? When does it change? We're in 2013.
DAVIS: It changed by -- it changes by having these conversations. I think that some of us, in a way, should thank Chris because now we're talking about homophobia in sports before the biggest game of the year. And without that, these conversations would not be happening. So, in a way, Chris did us a favor by being able to talk about it and to say that this problem still exists.
BALDWIN: Coy Wire, what about also, as I was watching that clip, you have Chris Culliver saying the comments, you have Artie Lange laughing, laughing as well.
WIRE: Yes. And I think Wade touched upon it. This type of conversation is key. It forces us to dig deeper and look at this issue.
BALDWIN: Despite the comments?
WIRE: Despite the comments. But I think it must be known that this isn't every NFL player, current NFL player or organization or team that has that approach and understanding.
WIRE: There are players like Brendon Ayanbadejo, who plays for the Baltimore Raven this Sunday in the Super Bowl who's been outspoken about gay rights and equality, has joined the "No Hate" campaign. So I think that's something that needs to be focused on as well. There are leaders in equality in regards to this issue and the NFL also.
BALDWIN: OK. Wade Davis, I just want to ask the same question to you, the fact that Artie Lange sort of chuckled it off. Did that strike you as harmful at all?
DAVIS: I think that's the biggest problem, that people will stand by and be bystanders to hateful language. I think also one of the digest issues that I see also is that there are people who identify as straight who won't speak up and say, I'm against homophobia. That should be much easier than to have a gay player to actually come out. It should be easy for every player who identifies as straight to say, you know what, I'm against homophobia. That's not happening. And I think that that's even a bigger problem than not having a gay out player.
BALDWIN: So interesting what you're saying about, you know, thanking Chris Culliver for his words because we now have made this into a national conversation moving forward.
Wade Davis, my thanks to you.
DAVIS: Thank you for having me. BALDWIN: Coy Wire, my friend, thanks to you as well.
Guys, I really appreciate it.
New details here on the standoff still unfolding in Alabama. This five-year-old is being held hostage in a bunker there. Now neighbors say they warned police about the suspect years ago. A live report from Alabama, next.
BALDWIN: A five-year-old boy is heading into day number three here, being held hostage by a stranger who snatched him from a school bus, dragged him to this homemade underground bunker. This is near Midland City, Alabama. We are also hearing some rather ominous reports today about this man who has been holding this child. Neighbors identify him as Jimmy Lee Dykes. He is 65 years of age. He's a retired trucker. A Vietnam War veteran. And I want you to listen here. This is Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He tracks hate groups and others on the fringes of society. Hear what he was told by the lead investigator in this case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK POTOK, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: But he said that officers, after speaking to neighbors and acquaintances of Jimmy Lee Dykes, have described him as being very strongly anti-government in his views. As you said, anti-America, whatever that may mean. And he also described him as a survivalist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Police, the FBI, Homeland Security, they are on the scene, as they have been the better part of the last three days, outside of that bunker. And so is CNN's George Howell.
So, George, we know that this little boy, he's five going on six pretty shortly. He has ADHD. He has Asperger's syndrome. Any word how he's doing?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, we're all hanging on the last word we got from investigators. We were supposed to get a 1:00 p.m. update. That didn't happen. So we're led to believe what we were told last night. Investigators say that this boy is physically unharmed. The five-year-old still in that bunker but physically unharmed. And that is good news, you know, as we -- as we continue to go through this thing.
But investigators say that their negotiations are still ongoing. And when it comes to those medications, Brooke, the investigator basically said that they were able to get the medication to the young boy. And also they were able to get crayons and a coloring book to him. These are two things that he specifically asked for. So it is at least a sign, Brooke, you know, that they're still talking to Mr. Dykes. They still have a line of communication with him. BALDWIN: So what about this Mr. Dykes? What more do we know about him? What do we know about this bunker he apparently had been digging for quite some time?
HOWELL: Right. Well, as far as the bunker itself is concerned, I spoke with a neighbor. This is a neighbor who tells me that in December Dykes fired a pistol at him and his family. But this neighbor had been on the property before and he described this bunker as basically being 15 feet by 15 feet wide, anywhere from 8 to 12 feet deep. And he says that he saw Dykes digging on this property for the last year and a half, for the last two years since he moved onto the property.
And then when you talk to other neighbors about Jimmy Dykes, they describe him as a reclusive fellow. A guy who believed, who worried a great deal about alien abductions. And a person that, you know, a lot of people just went out of their way to avoid.
And we also learned, Brooke, that Mr. Dykes has had other brushes with the law. Back in 1995, we know that he was charged with improper exhibition of a firearm, but that case was administratively dismissed. And he was also arrested back in 2001 for illegal possession of marijuana. Under 20 grams. So he has had other brushes with the law. One other thing. He was supposed to be in court just yesterday to face a menacing charge for allegedly firing a pistol at that neighbor.
BALDWIN: Right. Over apparently the dirt road between the neighbors.
George Howell --
HOWELL: Yes. Yes, there was --
George Howell, thank you so much. (INAUDIBLE), Alabama. Let us know --
HOWELL: Yes, a dirt road (INAUDIBLE).
BALDWIN: Let us know if anything changes here on the status of this young boy. Hopefully he ends up A-OK.
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